Lunar Eclipse Wows Lucky Skywatchers

The lunar eclipse on Thursday night was something of a “blink and you’ll miss it” event — but, for the lucky few who saw the show, the so-called Pink Moon apparently made a great impression.

In this mini event, the moon had just about the teeniest, tiniest bit of earth’s inner shadow cast onto its surface that you can imagine and still call it any kind of eclipse. According to Universe Today, less than a measly 1.5 percent of the moon’s disc was thrown into full shadow.

And the event itself lasted a trifling 27 minutes, instead of the several hours that many lunar eclipses may take.

It wasn’t visible at all in the western hemisphere, but there were viewers in parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and even western Australia.

I think we’ve all seen lunar eclipses that are various shades of red and orange over the years. Therefore, most of us were intrigued by the nickname “Pink Moon.”

Alas, the name comes not from any possible chance that the moon would turn pink. Instead, it arises from the fact that the partial eclipse came in April, which links it to the spring flower season.

The pictures are starting to be sorted and posted on various sites.

I can highly recommend Space‘s photo album, which includes a fine shot of the partly eclipsed moon seen through flowering trees.

However, the Universe Today photo page is also a stand-out, particularly the shot that catches an airplane flying across the moon during the eclipse.

One tweet from Italy did a marvelous job of summing up the event:

Even if it wasn’t really pink, I would have enjoyed seeing that lunar eclipse.

[lunar eclipse photo by Anton Croos via Wikipedia Commons]